Playing the Sock Market

Joan MacDonald was as excited as she could be to receive her first prosthesis. But the moment she saw it, her first thought was: No way. I’m not walking around the rest of my life wearing something that looks like a giant Band-Aid.

“I wanted to feel good about myself,” says MacDonald, who opted for below-knee amputation of her right leg in 2018 to end decades of chronic pain. She bought a 3D-printed prosthesis cover with seafoam colors, and it looked gorgeous. But it didn’t easily fit inside her jeans, and there were days when she just didn’t feel like wearing seafoam.

Drawing on her 20-plus years of experience as a dressmaker, MacDonald sewed up an array of colorful, comfortable, tight-fitting sleeves for her socket. She could mix and match them along with every other garment in her wardrobe, easily changing her leg’s appearance to match her mood and/or the rest of her outfit.

Now marketed as Socket Socks, these amputee accessories have started winning fans all over social media. YouTube titans Footless Jo and Cosi Belloso sing their praises. Kay Torbiak, the host of Amputee Workouts with Kay, calls them “priceless.”

“They’ve been life-changing for some of my customers,” says MacDonald. “A lot of people see someone in a prosthesis, and they don’t know what to say. They’re afraid to look at you. But when they see you wearing something attractive, it breaks the ice.”

The Socket Socks catalog is up to nearly two dozen designs, all available in above-knee, below-knee, and arm varieties. You can custom order a print for a little extra. Find them at

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